Page last updated at 22:31 GMT, Sunday, 15 November 2009

Sicilian police arrest Mafia boss

Domenico Raccuglia and a policeman
Domenico Raccuglia was taken by police to Palermo

A Mafia boss has been arrested after 15 years on the run, in what police describe as "one of the hardest blows" to the Sicilian crime group.

Domenico Raccuglia had been convicted in absentia for murder and other crimes and now faces three life sentences.

He was arrested in an apartment in a tiny town near Trapani, where he is believed to have had his Cosa Nostra power base, police said.

He was convicted of killing a rival's son, whose body was thrown into acid.

Most wanted

Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni described Raccuglia as Cosa Nostra's No 2, and said his arrest was "one of the hardest blows" to the Sicilian Mafia in the last few years.

Raccuglia was also listed as one of Italy's 30 most dangerous fugitives.

According to Ansa news agency, Palermo Prosecutor Antonio Ingroia said: "We have captured one of the absolute heads of Cosa Nostra still in circulation in a moment of (his) ascent in the Mafia hierarchy."

The most wanted fugitive remains Matteo Messina Denaro, who officials believe has a powerbase in western Sicily.

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